Available for order now! American Awakening: 8 Principles to Restore the Soul of America.     

when prayer is hard

There are times in our lives when we ache to believe, and yet it feels just beyond our grasp. We long to know God, to know His presence and peace – and yet it is elusive. This causes deeper doubts – wondering if there is a God. It leaves us feeling empty, hopeless, distant – from ourselves and often from others. It is hard, if not impossible, to pray in these times.

This can be related to other things happening in our lives – depression, broken relationships, unmet expectations, failures. It may also be, I think, that the God who exists allows us space to experience these “dark nights of the soul” as St. John of the Cross called them. There is some mysterious way in which these distant, questioning times actually expand our soul’s capacity to receive and believe. 

There is some way in which, having wrestled in the dark, sitting peacefully in the light takes on a richer, fuller beauty.

So if today, or some day in the future, you find yourself doubting, despairing, hopeless – hang on with even just that little bit that you can muster. It is not the end, and there is yet life and light to be found. 

God of the universe, we thank you that we can pray boldly and specifically, but we recognize there are days when we’re not sure you’re even there. On these days, we ask for the strength to just put one foot in front of the other and find that tiny glimmer of hope. Thank you that you’re the God of both circumstances, and you love us through it all, leading us to life.



Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Joel


Joel Searby
A healthy and united America is truly possible… and it starts with us. John Kingston draws on wisdom from history, science, faith and culture, along with his own experiences, to offer eight principles for discovering purpose, meaning and true community.

“John Kingston has issued a call to action, combining insights from an earnestly examined life with analysis from philosophical traditions and psychological research. He entertains, engages, informs and inspires.”

Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals

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